Argentina: Trade balance records another surplus on plunging imports in October
November 26, 2018
Exports increased 1.4% in year-on-year terms in October, contrasting September’s 4.8% fall. September’s rise reflected a strong increase in fuels and energy exports as well as a healthy expansion in exports of manufactured products of agricultural origin, only partially offset by a contraction in exports of primary products and of manufactured products of industrial origin. In terms of export markets, solid export growth towards Mercosur (especially Brazil), Chile and ASEAN was only partially offset by declining exports towards NAFTA and the EU.
Imports plummeted 18.2% annually in October, a somewhat softer fall than September’s revised 21.2% contraction. A plunge in the imports of capital and consumption goods, as well of imports of passenger motor vehicles following a decline in the peso in September, just partially compensated by sturdier imports of intermediate goods, explain October’s drop.
Meanwhile, the trade balance surplus narrowed from a USD 314 million surplus in September to a USD 277 million surplus in October, the second consecutive surplus after 20 months in the red (October 2017: USD 927 million deficit). The 12-month rolling trade deficit came in at USD 8.5 billion (October 2017: USD 5.9 billion shortfall), narrowing from September’s USD 9.7 billion deficit and marking the best result in 10 months.
Argentina Trade Balance Forecast
Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect exports to expand 11.8% in 2019 and imports to decrease 4.3%, pushing the trade balance to a USD 5.0 billion surplus. For 2020, the panel expects exports to increase 7.4% and imports to grow 7.9%, with a trade surplus of USD 5.0 billion.